Sunday, July 21, 2013

Memory of the loss of wings

An hour comes
to close a door behind me
the whole of night opens before me

- W.S. Merwin

A new artwork to share - finally!  I created this tree for a very special exhibition titled Ten Years, Ten Trees, Ten Artists for the Jumpers and Jazz in July festival in Warwick.  Ten artists have each taken one of the festival's well-known silhouette trees and turned it into their own unique artwork. You can see the exhibition at the Warwick Town Hall until July 28.

It hasn't been a great year for me in terms of productivity in my art practice, so it was a good thing to have a deadline for this piece.  2013 has been an interesting year so far... lots of family things to focus on, a little unwellness that got in the way, a few epiphanies and some changes in the wind - all the usual stuff, really.  It's all gone too fast, and has been a bit confusing and unsatisfactory... so to mark the middle of the year, I'm beginning again, and thinking of new adventures, of making changes, of focussing my time on the people and pastimes that nurture my spirit... and looking forward to a much better second half of the year.

Murmuration is the title of my tree, as it includes starlings created from vintage star maps and astronomy books, and was very much inspired by this video and this poem.

Starlings in Winter

Chunky and noisy,
but with stars in their black feathers,
they spring from the telephone wire
and instantly

they are acrobats
in the freezing wind.
And now, in the theater of air,
they swing over buildings,

dipping and rising;
they float like one stippled star
that opens,
becomes for a moment fragmented,

then closes again;
and you watch
and you try
but you simply can't imagine

how they do it
with no articulated instruction, no pause,
only the silent confirmation
that they are this notable thing,

this wheel of many parts, that can rise and spin
over and over again,
full of gorgeous life.
Ah, world, what lessons you prepare for us,

even in the leafless winter,
even in the ashy city.
I am thinking now
of grief, and of getting past it;
I feel my boots
trying to leave the ground,
I feel my heart
pumping hard, I want

to think again of dangerous and noble things.
I want to be light and frolicsome.
I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing,
as though I had wings.

"Starlings in Winter" by Mary Oliver, from Owls and Other Fantasies: Poems and Essays. © Beacon Press, 2003.


Sandra said...

This is beautiful, the colours, the rounded shapes on the trunk of the tree and those birds! I love the last four lines of the poem too!

tinajo said...

Looks beautiful, great work! :-)

Cerise violette said...

Quelle beauté ! C'est magique .

jmac said...

Oh My, Loretta!!! I came here to tell you that I just received my glorious piece of art from you! I am over the "moon" in love with it and it will go perfectly onto my map wall...will also make a post about it on my blog soon...
and then I come here to read this post!!! Serendipity! One of my photographs was used as the base for 10 painting artists to re-do their own rendition of it. Such an honor. Was shown in a gallery in the southern part of state. will include link to a blog post I did on it!!!
thank you so much for such a beautiful piece of your soul for me to share!!

jmac said...

The link I referred to above....